Hyperzincemia is when there is too much zinc in the blood. Zinc is an important mineral for the body, but too much of it can be harmful.
In severe cases, it can damage the kidneys, cause anemia, and affect the nerves. With the right treatment, hyperzincemia can be managed.
In this blog post, we will discuss on what you need to know about hyperzincemia, so that you can take care of your health.
What is Hyperzincemia and What Causes it?
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Hyperzincemia is a condition that occurs when the zinc levels in the blood are higher than the normal range.
Zinc is an essential mineral that the the body needs to grow and heal properly. It helps with things like fighting off infections, making new cells, healing wounds, and creating DNA.
Hyperzincemia occurs due to some reasons, the causes include:
- Excessive intake of zinc supplements that contains high levels of zinc
- Exposure to zinc dust
- Prolonged parenteral nutrition, a type of intravenous feeding that contains high levels of zinc
- Inherited disorders such as acrodermatitis enteropathica that affects zinc metabolism
Symptoms of Hyperzincemia
The symptoms of hyperzincemia can vary from person to person, and it actually depends how serious the condition is. Symptoms include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal cramps
- Reduced immune function
- Neurological problems
Diagnosis of Hyperzincemia
If you think that you have too much zinc in your blood, run some tests to confirm it.
The normal range for zinc in the blood is between 70 and 120 micrograms per deciliter (mcg/dL).
If the zinc level is higher than 120 mcg/dL, it may indicate hyperzincemia.
However, a single blood test may not be enough to do the diagnosis, as zinc levels can change at anytime of the day.
Additional tests like liver function and kidney function tests may be needed to confirm the diagnosis of hyperzincemia.
Treatment of Hyperzincemia
Treating hyperzincemia is possible, if you notice any symptoms, here are some of the treatment options:
- Discontinue zinc supplements and zinc-containing medications.
- Chelation therapy, using a drug called D-penicillamine to bind zinc in the blood and help remove it from the body.
- Dialysis, a procedure that helps filter the blood and removes excess zinc.
- Monitoring of kidney function and treatment of any kidney damage that may have occurred.
- Anti-nausea medication, for any gastrointestinal symptoms.
- Ensuring adequate hydration to support the elimination of excess zinc through urine.
Complications of Hyperzincemia
High levels of zinc in the blood, may lead to several complications. Here are some of the possible effects of hyperzincemia:
- Copper deficiency
- Problems with digestion and nutrient absorption
- Metabolic imbalances
- Immune system dysfunction
- Kidney and liver damage
Prevention of Hyperzincemia
To prevent hyperzincemia, maintain a healthy balanced diet that includes adequate amounts of zinc but does not exceed the recommended daily intake.
Here are the RDI values for zinc according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH):
- Infants 0-6 months: 2 mg
- Infants 7-12 months: 3 mg
- Children 1-3 years: 3 mg
- Children 4-8 years: 5 mg
- Children 9-13 years: 8 mg
- Boys 14-18 years: 11 mg
- Girls 14-18 years: 9 mg
- Men 19+ years: 11 mg
- Women 19+ years: 8 mg
- Pregnant women: 11-12 mg
- Breastfeeding moms: 12-13 mg
Some groups like vegetarians and vegans may need to consume more zinc to meet their needs since zinc from plant sources is less readily absorbed by the body than zinc from animal sources.
It is also advisable to avoid taking too much zinc supplements, which contributes to an unhealthy buildup of zinc in the body.
Conclusion: What You Need to Know About Hyperzincemia
Hyperzincemia is a rare condition, if it is not treated, it can cause serious health problems. So it’s important to get it checked if you think you might have it.
Symptoms can range from mild to severe, and includes problems with digestion, neurological symptoms, and impaired immune function.
If you suspect high levels of zinc in your blood, seek medical attention and undergo proper diagnosis and treatment.
This involves reducing zinc intake, increasing copper intake, and other measures to normalize zinc levels in the blood.
To prevent hyperzincemia, maintain a balanced diet and avoid excessive zinc supplementation.